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Second Annual Conversationon the State of Norman Campus Research Presented by Kelvin K. DroegemeierAlicia J. KnoedlerJames L. Grimsley Office of the Vice President for Research, Norman Campus 22 September 2011
Purpose To discuss progress, plans and challenges in the Norman Campus research and creative activity enterprise with a view toward continuing to work together to achieve our collective goals
Topics to be Addressed • Context for higher education and research • The Federal R&D budget picture • Recent general achievements on the Norman Campus • Progress compared directly to plans during the past year, including Aspire 2020 • Reflections on the past year • Future activities, budget outlook and challenges • Possible reforms to benefit R&D • Update on CRPDE and CARD
Always Good to Keep In Mind… • OU Mission • To provide the best possible educational experience for our students through excellence in teaching, research and creative activity, and service to the state and society • Norman Campus Research Mission • To utilize the intellectual, technological, and administrative resources of the University of Oklahoma for the generation and dissemination of new knowledge to understand and improve all aspects of life and living
Always Good to Keep In Mind… • Norman Campus Research Values • The University's most treasured assets are its students, faculty & staff and their dreams, ambitions and talents • All disciplines of scholarly endeavor are valued contributors to research and creative activity • Integrity, ethical conduct, and mutual respect are uncompromising principles by which research and creative activity must be pursued • Unfettered exchange and debate of competing ideas and perspectives expands understanding, promotes inclusion and ultimately leads to excellence • Research and education are inextricably intertwined and together represent the foundation of knowledge creation upon which the University's scholarly enterprise rests.
Context Fundamental criticism of higher education: It is characterized as a … “. . . mature enterprise: increasingly risk averse, at times self-satisfied, and unduly expensive. It is an enterprise that has yet to address the fundamental issues of how academic programs and institutions must be transformed to serve the changing educational needs of a knowledge economy. It has yet to successfully confront the impact of globalization, rapidly evolving technologies, an increasingly diverse and aging population, and an evolving marketplace characterized by new needs and new paradigms.” (Miller, 2006 – Spelling Commission on the Future of Higher Education) Courtesy Ken Evans and Bob Dauffenbach, Price College of Business
Context • Overall challenges to higher education • Cost of sending kids to college • Lack of perceived focus/accountability in teaching • Student debt • Decreasing State appropriations and cost shifting • Decreasing public perception of value • Relevance and immediacy of research impact Adapted from Ken Evans and Bob Dauffenbach, Price College of Business
Context • Broad challenges to Research and Creative Activity • Increasingly high costs (equipment, facilities, start-up) • Unfunded compliance mandates • Flat or declining Federal agency and private foundation budgets • Retention of faculty • Preserving the value of inquiry-driven scholarship • Synergy between teaching and scholarship
Federal R&D Priorities • Sustainable economic growth and job creation • National Manufacturing Initiative • National Robotics Initiative • Defeating dangerous diseases • Clean energy future • Understanding, adapting to and mitigating impacts of global climate change • Managing demands on land, fresh water and oceans • Technologies to protect troops, citizens and national interests • STEM education • Innovation and entrepreneurship
NSF Focus Areas (Others Described in Alicia’s Talk) • Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) • INSPIRE (Integrated NSF Support for Interdisciplinary Research and Education) • CF21 – Cyberinfrastructure Framework for the 21st Century • Cyber Security • STEM Education • Cyber-Enabled Learning • Manufacturing (tied to Presidential initiative) • I-CORPS (innovation program)
All is NOT Doom and Gloom: Another BANNER YEAR for the Norman Campus! • “These are the best of times, and challenging times” (D. Boren) • Carnegie Very High Research classification • Record expenditures: $90.4 million, up $4.7 million from FY10 (increase of 25% in past 3 years) • Nearly as many proposals submitted (857) as in FY10 (868, a record), requesting $394.5 million (record) • Site of Department of the Interior Regional Climate Science Center • NOAA Cooperative Institute ($75 million/5 years) was renewed • Some other major grant news • $10.7 million I-ARPA grant (Norah Dunbar, Communications) • Competitive ranking for $10.4 million NIH COBRE (Ann West, Chem/Biochem). Would be a first for the Norman Campus • $1.2 million NSF MRI grant (Bing Zhang, Zoology)
All is NOT Doom and Gloom: Another BANNER YEAR for the Norman Campus! • Created the Corix Institute to focus on water issues • Corix Endowed Chair in Sustainability • Oklahoma Water Survey • WaTER Center • New center for sustainability research • Research Campus (http://urc.ou.edu/operations/facilities.html) now houses more than a dozen private companies and more than 350 employees • Closing in on 1 million square feet developed for the Research Campus • Four Partners Place under construction • Radar Innovations Center being designed • Regents approval for design of Five Partners Place • Rationale behind/use of the Partners Place buildings
Beyond the Dollars • Numerous faculty outcomes and achievements and honors • Guggenheim • Fulbright • Articles in Nature, Science • Humboldt Foundation Award • Lew Hunter Award for Outstanding Screenplay Feature • Beverly Hills Film Festival Golden Palm Award for Best Screenplay • Numerous books, articles, conferences, performances, exhibits
Our Stated Goals at This Time Last Year • Continue momentum from Aspire 2020 • See success with and build out the Center for Research Program Development & Enrichment (CRPDE) • Create a Faculty Challenge Grant Program • Create a Strategic Initiative in Defense/Security/Intelligence (DSI) • Create a center to support Applied R&D • Create a Centers Initiative • Create a Research Liaison Program • Re-compete the USOs • Create a VPR Office Faculty Awards Program • Create a FacultyResearch Incentives & Rewards Program • Create a VPR Web Site • Overhaul the Research Council Funding Portfolio • Create a New Budgeting and Tracking Process in the VPR Office
Our Stated Rationale Last Year for These Goals • Targeted investments and new support programs to assist faculty • Structured budgetary planning • Expanding the opportunity space for all disciplines • Enhancing the visibility of research • Incentivizing and rewarding success
Many recommendations from the first three Action Teams have been implemented as described in the next several slides • Second three Action Teams completed theirwork on time • Education R&CA • Graduate R&CA • Undergraduate R&CA • These three reports are on the web for public comment • Comprehensive (2-year) evaluation of Aspire 2020 will be conducted next spring Transforming Research Engagement Transforming Research Competitiveness Nation’s Foremost Public Comprehensive Research University Of Our Size Transforming Research Culture
Center for Research Program Development and Enrichment (CRPDE) • Completed its first year on 1 July 2011 • Numerous success stories of assisting faculty in developing their scholarly programs and winning grants • Dr. Knoedler will provide details in a moment
Research Liaison Program Launched • Similar in concept to Graduate Liaisons • Principal faculty point of engagement between academic department and VPR Office • Communicates VPR Office opportunities and policies to the program • Communicates research activities, plans, facility and equipment needs from the program to the VPR Office
Faculty Challenge Grant Program Executed • Aspire 2020 underscored a compelling need for internal seed funding • CGP is notably different from Research Council programs • Foundational concept is for faculty to take a major step forward along a strategic pathway, not simply perform the next project • VPR Office set aside $650K in FY11 and CRPDE ran an internal competition involving all disciplines • Up to 10 projects at max of $10K/project • Up to 6 projects at max of $25K/project • Up to 4 projects at max of $50K/project • Up to 2 projects at max of $100K/project • High expectations and accountability • Alicia will provide details in next talk
University Strategic Organizations (USOs) Were Re-Competed • The USO program was initiated in 2008 to provide base funding for organizations that are strategically foundational to the University’s research portfolio • All eight USOs were re-competed in spring, 2011 • Other organizations were able to compete as well • Six organizations were selected as USOs • Atmospheric Radar Research Center • Center for Applied Social Research • K20 Center for Education and Community Renewal • Early Childhood Education Institute (Tulsa) • OU Biomedical Engineering Center (joint with HSC) • Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms • Funding per year increased from $75K to $150K • The new Climate Science Center was named a USO as well
Faculty Research Awards Program was Initiated • First-ever awards given by the Vice President for Research • Outstanding Research Impact • Outstanding Research Engagement • Need more nominations!!! • Regents’ Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity increased from $2,000 to $10,000
Broadening the Portfolio and Opportunity Space for Faculty Commerce (mainly NOAA) NSF DOD (6.3%) NASA DOE DoEd HHS (mainly NIH)
LaunchedStrategic Initiative in Defense, Security and Intelligence (DSI) • Goal: Broaden opportunity space for faculty scholarship • A very different world than NSF and NIH • Relationships with program staff are key • Faculty respond to agency desires, not vice versa • Often significant engagement with industry • Translational research and development • Considerable opportunity for the humanities • Started with a relatively small cohort of about 80 Norman Campus faculty in 10 core areas • Hired a DC consulting firm to assist • Working closely with Oklahoma Congressional delegation
LaunchedStrategic Initiative in Defense, Security and Intelligence (DSI) • Achievements to date • Group faculty visits to NNSA Kansas City Plant; $300K grant funded • $10.4 million I-ARPA grant funded • Numerous grant proposals under development across a variety of disciplines • Four faculty group visits to DC, including HSC faculty • Faculty group visit to Scott AFB • Visit by USAF to OU to discuss weather modeling research • Discussions underway with Lockheed Martin and Raytheon on $3.5 billion Space Fence Project • New emphasis on Unmanned Aerial and Ground Vehicles, Robotics, MMRO, Sensing, Biofuels
Launched the Center for Applied Research and Development (CARD) • Mission • Provide a physical and administrative infrastructure to increase substantially applied research and development on the OU Norman Campus • Initial Goals • Open new spaces of opportunity for researchers and students across all disciplines • Establish appropriate administrative frameworks (e.g., contract vehicles) that support business processes and personnel on types of applied research and development contracts that are not presently being pursued • More effectively translate research outcomes into practicable solutions for society.
Launched the Center for Applied Research and Development (CARD) • Structure • Formally part of the University (not a separate administrative entity) • Administratively housed in the Norman Campus VPR Office as a campus-wide resource • Designated specifically for applied R&D projects • Initial administrative support using existing VPR staff (will be administratively lean) • Special SRI structure being developed to incentivize participation and provide foundational support to CARD • Substantial percentage to dean and individual faculty/researchers involved • Projects can fund graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, staff researchers in all disciplines, not only DSI-related activities • More in a moment from founding director, James Grimsley
Revamped the Research Council Portfolio • Current Portfolio • PI Research Investment Program (budget ceiling of $10,000) • Arts and Humanities Creative Activity Program • Over $1200 Requests • Small Grant Program • Junior Faculty Fellowship Program • Potentially Transformative Research Program • Book Publication Subvention Program • 1/3rd Travel Program • Reprint Program • Weaknesses • Too many programs, too prescriptive, funding levels too low, expectations and impacts tracking weak • Conflicts of interest (new policy developed)
Revamped the Research Council Portfolio • New Portfolio – developed after exhaustive study • Faculty Investment Program (FIP) • Junior Faculty Fellowship Program • Book Publication and Open Access Subvention Program • Characteristics of FIP • Budgets up to $15,000 • Far less prescription – goal isn’t necessarily to obtain external funding • Much greaterflexibility(e.g., course release if approved, etc) • 1/3rd travel funding requests still possible • Proposals less than $3K go to CRPDE Council focuses on larger strategic investments • Proposals reviewed by Council plus an external (to Council) expert reviewer who has no vote • CRPDE to assist PIs in developing proposals; high expectations/accountability • Discussions with Deans, Provost, Faculty Senate; Council will vote soon; plan to announce soon and launch January, 2012 • Conflict of interest policy also developed for implementation in January, 2012
Other Research Council Activities • Potentially Transformative Research (PTR) Program piloted • Junior Faculty Fellowship budgets increased from $6,000 to $7,500 and summer research time requirement relaxed